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College Board, the well-respected and longtime research-based not-for-profit higher education organization, recently released its “Trends in College Pricing” report for 2019.

The findings had to be unsettling, if not downright alarming, for parents and students contemplating four-year institutions.

College Board reports that tuition, fees and room and board at public, four-year, in-state institutions rose an average of 2.6% in 2019-20 to $21,950. That’s right: Almost $22,000 a year as the base “sticker price.” That figure doesn’t account for other expenses that can add up in a hurry, no matter how frugal or budget-minded a student and their families might be.  

The College Board’s report shows private, nonprofit four-year institutions with an average price of nearly $50,000 per year.

We all know education is vital to securing a better way of life. It’s frustrating, aggravating and more than anything else, sad, that higher education potentially can remain out of reach for many because of the enormous financial commitment some institutions demand.

Schoolcraft College understands the difficulties many students face as they strives toward their goals in higher education and in life. If, for example, you have your heart set on obtaining a degree from a four-year institution, Schoolcraft can be a great place to start. 

Our partnerships with local universities ensure that Schoolcraft students will have a seamless transfer while saving money on tuition. In fact, thousands of students transferred during school year 2017-18, with 100% going to other colleges or major universities such as the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Walsh College, to name a few. 

Schoolcraft is among the best community colleges in Michigan, offering high returns on investment both in the near-term and lifetime. A study from Bridge Michigan shows Schoolcraft has a rate of return of $769,000, which is higher than several private four-year universities. The same study shows Schoolcraft had a rate of return of $156,000 after 10 years.

In these challenging times, we want to help students across southeastern Michigan achieve their goals while avoiding burdensome debt. We urge students to examine all options, crunch the numbers and consider attainable solutions.

Van Nguyen is executive director of marketing and communications at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. 

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